Thursday, October 23, 2008


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 120 Minutes
Release Date : December 2004
Director & Writer : Rituparno Ghosh; Music : Debajyoti Misra
Starring : Ajay Devgan, Aishwarya Rai, Annu Kapoor, Mouli Ganguly

It’s a slightly sombre film, though filled with good performances, some enchanting background music (thematic is sung by Shubha Mudgal, some poetry by Gulzar) and a nice, cute ending. Its more a play than a movie actually, inspired by a O’Henry story (will be giving the story away if I tell you which one).

Ajay Devgan, down on his luck, out of a job, weepy, depressive, comes from his village to Kolkatta and is staying over at his college friend’s place. Together, they devise a plan wherein Ajay will go ask their other batchmates for small amounts of money (Rs 5000 or so) to make up the seed capital he needs to start his new business. The friends wife is also very supportive, touched by the state he is in, and gives him her mobile phone and also the raincoat mentioned in the title. Ajay also wants to meet his old flame, Aishwarya, now married for six years, a move not supported by the friend (since she had caused Ajay so much heartache) and he finally relents only on one condition – that Ajay borrow at least 15000 from her alone. Within 20 minutes of the film’s start, Ajay is ringing Aishwarya’s doorbell.

Almost the whole movie goes by in whispered half tones punctuated only by the slightly more vibrant flashbacks. Its somberness somehow gets to you, lowers your own enthusiasm. The friends wife, nicely played by Mouli Ganguly, and the cameo by Annu Kapoor, who plays a very irritating character quite well, are the only relief from the very halting dialogue between the lead characters (even though I found the whole conversation Annu had with Ajay quite implausible).

I’ve always failed to understand why they would take someone as gorgeous as Aishwarya and then completely deglamourize her - dress her up in dowdy clothes, make her look worn out / frumpy and even talk funny. I also think they made the story slower, and excessively depressive than it needed to be, else it would have appealed to a lot more people than it did right now. Nice but not very – if it weren’t for the music, I would probably have gone for a lower rating.

1 comment:

Biswajit Saha said...

Expected a better score for this movie... though it's adapted from The gift of Magi but it has been poignantly picturised and set with shades of love and friendship in it.